Video: Parts of the brain: Learn with diagrams and quizzes
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Let me guess – you've just started to learn about the brain and all its different parts. You turn to good old YouTube to search for a way to learn this subject and you found this video. We both kno... Read more
Let me guess – you've just started to learn about the brain and all its different parts. You turn to good old YouTube to search for a way to learn this subject and you found this video. We both know that the anatomy of the brain is not an easy topic to learn, and if you are new to this subject, it's only natural that you feel overwhelmed by the task. Believe me. Back in school, brain anatomy was one of those topics that rob me of many nights of sleep and a social life – even though I still barely have one now, to be honest. But don't despair, you're not alone and we are here to help. In this video, we will show you how to learn the main parts of the brain without losing your mind. See what I did there?
Before I go into how you should easily learn the parts of the brain, let me just give you a bit of information about this amazing organ that allows us to be here discussing it. The brain is a very important organ of the nervous system, and, together with the spinal cord, makes up the central nervous system. This outstanding organ controls almost every function of the body. It processes, integrates. and coordinates the information received from the sense organs and makes decisions about the instructions to be sent to the rest of the body. So to put it in simple terms, the brain is like our mega supercomputer.
As you probably know, the brain is vital for us but also very fragile, so it needs to be protected by a strong shield, and it sure is. The brain is contained within and protected by the bones of the skull. The brain structure is certainly a complicated one with no shortage of anatomical terms to learn. At Kenhub, we have many valuable tools for you to easily learn the anatomy of the brain in detail. In this video, we will cover the main parts of the brain using two of those tools.
Now let's start with the first one – labeling diagrams. Now to find our labeling diagram worksheets, go to our website at kenhub.com and search for parts of the brain. In our Free Knowledge Library, you'll find this first article known as ‘Parts of the brain: Learn with diagrams and quizzes.’ Click on it and it will take you to this page right here. Scroll down all the way to where you can find this blue button ‘Download PDF Worksheet (Blank).’ Click on it and here it is – your worksheet with a blank brain diagram ready to print. Alternatively, you can also label it on your tablet. To make things easier for you, I'll leave a link to this labeling diagram worksheet in the video description below.
Before we start labeling, you should take a moment to look at the labeled diagram that you can find on the same page where you downloaded the worksheet. Notice that we have here three different images of the brain. The first one here on top is a lateral view; then we have a second one in the middle which is a midsagittal view, meaning that the brain was cut right through the middle. These two perspectives are the most common ways of studying the brain.
To make it easier we are going to split the brain into its three major parts – the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brainstem. At the bottom, we have a third image representing the ventricles of the brain which are these hollow spaces that produce and house cerebrospinal fluid. Keep in mind that this diagram only includes some of the main parts of the brain. We thought this would be a good starting point before you dive deeper into brain anatomy, which is a lot more complex, believe me.
And we are now ready to start labeling our diagram of the brain. Let's start with the top image – the lateral view of the brain. First, we're going to label the structures of the cerebrum – the largest and uppermost part of the brain responsible for higher bodily functions – and in this lateral view, we can see the most superficial layer of the cerebrum – the cerebral cortex. Let's start with the lobes which are these demarcated areas or subdivisions of the cerebral cortex. And here's a helpful tip: These lobes are named according to their relation to the bones of the skull.
First up, the frontal lobe, which is this lobe right here located at the front of the hemisphere. It is involved in a diverse range of functions such as controlling voluntary muscle movements as well as important cognitive skills in humans such as planning, attention, motivation, language, as well as problem solving and decision making.
Now here we have the parietal lobe located posteriorly to the frontal lobe. This lobe is involved in the perception and processing of various types of sensory information coming from the outside world such as touch, pain, and pressure. It is also involved in language processing.
This region of the cortex here encompassing the posterior pole of the brain is the occipital lobe. The occipital lobe is the center for visual processing. It receives information from our eyes and produces the image of the world as we know it.
The last lobe that we are going to talk about is this lower lobe here – the temporal lobe. The temporal lobe is involved in processing sensory input into derived meanings for the appropriate retention of visual memory and language comprehension.
Now we are done with the lobes but we still have to label the two most important sulci which are these grooves or depressions in the cerebral cortex. The central sulcus, or the fissure of Rolando, is a prominent landmark of the brain separating the frontal lobe from the parietal lobe. The lateral cerebral sulcus, also known as Sylvian fissure or lateral fissure, is also very noticeable here. It is a deep fissure that separates the frontal and parietal lobes from the temporal lobe.
Now that we have covered the cerebrum, let's move into another important subdivision of the brain – the cerebellum – a word that means small brain. As you can see, the cerebellum sits below the cerebrum just inferior to the occipital lobe. The cerebellum regulates motor functions such as balance, coordination. and speech.
Now we're moving on to the midsagittal view of the brain and starting from where we left off, we can also see here very well the cerebellum and notice how the cerebellar white matter, which is this internal layer here, has a branched tree-like appearance. That's why it is called the tree of life. In this image, we also have a very clear view of the other important subdivision of the brain – the brainstem – which is the most inferior part of the brain. The brainstem controls the most basic bodily functions such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure. It also relays information to and from higher regions of the brain and the rest of the body. The brainstem is made up of three portions – the midbrain or mesencephalon which is the most superior portion of the brainstem; you have the pons which means bridge in Latin and is the middle portion of the brainstem which you can see here just anterior to the cerebellum; then you have the medulla oblongata at the inferior end of the brainstem which continues onto the spinal cord inferiorly.
There are also three important structures from the cerebrum in this midsagittal view. You have the corpus callosum which is very noticeable here. It is a commissure because it connects similar structures in both sides of the brain; in this case, the left and right cerebral hemispheres. It is the largest commissure of the brain. Then we have the thalamus, which is a distinct mass of gray matter like the cerebral cortex. It is located deep within the white matter of the cerebrum. The thalamus acts as a central hub relaying and integrating a myriad of sensory and motor information between higher centers of the brain and the peripheries. And finally, in this image, we have the master gland of the endocrine system – the pituitary gland or hypophysis. It produces hormones that regulate many vital functions and processes such as metabolism, growth, sexual maturation, reproduction, and blood pressure. The hormones secreted by this gland affect nearly every body system. Quite the boss, this one.
And we're going to move on to the next image, now we just need to talk about the ventricles of the brain. The lateral ventricles which we see here are these C-shaped cavities – one in each cerebral hemisphere. They are the largest ventricles of the brain. Then we have the third ventricle which is this slit-like cavity in the midline between the two thalami. And finally, we have the fourth ventricle. It is the most inferior of the four ventricles and it is situated within the brainstem.
Our worksheet has, at the bottom, as you can, see a bigger image with a more detailed view of the ventricular system of the brain, so first let's fill in these structures we already identified previously. We have the left lateral ventricle here. We can see a tiny bit of the right lateral ventricle here, the third ventricle here, and the fourth ventricle here.
Now we're going to focus on the structure of the lateral ventricle. It has a central part that is located in the parietal lobe. It also has projections called horns, like this one here, which is called the anterior horn of the lateral ventricle that can also be called frontal horn because it goes into the frontal lobe. Then we have this finger-like projection which is the posterior horn of the lateral ventricle or occipital horn projecting into the occipital lobe. And finally, the temporal horn of the lateral ventricle, the most inferior aspect of this cavity located in – you guessed it – the temporal lobe. Then we have a collateral trigone here that we need to label which is this triangular area located at the junction of the occipital and temporal lobes.
The third ventricle also has projections which are smaller than those of the lateral ventricle and are called recesses. Inferiorly, there is the supraoptic recess called this way because it is located superior to the optic chiasma, and then we have the infundibular recess extending inferiorly on the floor of the ventricle. Posteriorly, in this cavity, we have the suprapineal recess located superior to the pineal gland and the recess of the pineal gland which projects posteriorly into the body of the pineal gland. The fourth ventricle also has a recess extending laterally which is known as the lateral recess, one on either side of the midline.
The ventricles are filled with cerebrospinal fluid, and as you can see, they communicate with each other. The interventricular foramen are the channels connecting the lateral ventricles to the third ventricle; the cerebral aqueduct connects the third and fourth ventricles; then the system is made continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord which originates from the floor of the fourth ventricle.
Okay, and that is it. We have here our sheet completely labeled as you can see. I can say that my brain did a good job, right? We have covered a lot of structures today, but before you give your brain some deserved rest, let me just talk about another fabulous learning strategy which is recalling what you've learned by answering questions. And for that, we also have something to help – quizzes. Regardless of your level of knowledge on this subject, we have a suitable quiz for you. We have basic structure identification questions for the beginners, advanced structure identification questions if you already have some knowledge on this subject, and an exam questions bank for those of you who are really ready to take it to the next level and apply your knowledge in clinical scenarios, for example.
Ready to start working out that brain of yours with amazing quizzes? Check out the link to the quizzes in the video description below.
Now, I want to know this – what do you find most challenging about studying the brain? Please let us know and leave your answer in the comments below. And don't – and I said don’t – forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don't miss any of the videos that we publish here and show some love for the best organ in the human body, the heart – I mean, the brain, the brain.
Goodbye, and hope to see you soon.
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